Wilson FL

FREDERICK LUKE WILSON 1895 – 1915

14572 Lance Corporal Frederick Luke Wilson, 9th Battalion, the East Yorkshire Regiment died of wounds 16 August 1915.  He was 20 years old and is buried in Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France. [1] L/C F.L. Wilson is commemorated on the St. Helen’s Colliery Memorial Cottages, Maude Terrace, St. Helen’s Auckland and the West Auckland War Memorial, County Durham.

Family Details

Frederick Luke Wilson was born c.1895 at Copley to Luke and Mary Alice Wilson (nee Hogarth).[2]  There were at least 3 children:

  • Frederick Luke born 1895 at Copley
  • John Henry born c.1897 at Copley
  • Ernest Wedgewood born c.1905 at West Auckland

In 1901, the family lived at Post Office Square, West Auckland and Luke was a coal miner (hewer).[3]  By 1911, the family lived at 12 Arnold Street, West Auckland. [4]  At a later date, they moved to 2 Coronation Street, St. Helen’s Auckland. [5]

Service Record

Frederick Wilson attested 2 November 1914 being given the regimental number 14572 and was posted 3 November.  He was transferred to the 9th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment 12 November 1914. He was 19 years 6 months old and worked as a miner. [6]  He undertook a medical examination 2 November 1914, was 5ft. 10” tall, weighed 133lbs., had a fresh complexion, light brown eyes and brown hair.  His religion was Church of England.  He was considered fit for service. [7]

9 November 1914: The 9th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment was formed at York as a Service Battalion as part of Kitchener’s New Army K4 and came under the orders of 90th Brigade, 30th Division.  In April 1915 it became a Reserve Battalion and in May 1915 went to Harrogate and in September 1915 went to Rugeley Camp, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire. [8]  15 June 1915: Private F. Wilson was promoted to Lance Corporal.  He landed in France 2 August 1915 and was immediately posted to the 7th Battalion, East Yorkshire Regiment. [9]

The 7th Battalion was formed at Beverley 16 September 1914, part of K2 Kitchener’s New Army and came under the orders of the 50th Brigade, 17th (Northern) Division. [10]  At that time, other battalions in the Brigade were:

  • 10th, West Yorkshire Regiment
  • 7th, Yorkshire Regiment (the Green Howards)
  • 6th, Dorsetshire Regiment (joined March 1915)

The Division was holding the front lines in the southern area of the Ypres Salient. [11]  The War Diary confirms that the battalion moved into the line and orders were received on how to defend a German attack.  Shelling occurred 9 August and Lance Corporal Wilson was hit and sustained his mortal wounds on this date. [12]

9 August: 2.30am.  5 rounds rapid fired at the enemy trenches.  An artillery bombardment commenced at 2.40am and continued until 4am.  The Germans replied with whizz bangs and 8 men were hit.  Stretcher bearers Lance Corporal Kent and Private Tanfield did good work.  Coal boxes were dropped at night and 1 man was hit.

Lance Corporal F. Wilson was wounded “in the field” 9 August 1915. [14]

The 7th battalion, the Yorkshire Regiment was in the same brigade as the 7/EYR and its Regimental History confirms that the 17th Division took over the St. Eloi sector and remained on this front until early October. The 50th Brigade worked with the 51st doing tours of 8 days in the line and 8 days at Reninghelst.  The following detail is provided for 9 August and explains the reason for their action:

“For the first time in the war the battalion was involved in a major operation.  With battalions to their immediate right and left, they opened fire on the enemy with a view of diverting his attention from the British attack then taking place at Hooge to the north.  In retaliation, the Germans heavily shelled the communication trenches and the roads in the rear.” [16]

The 7/Yorkshire Regiment suffered no casualties but the 7th East Yorkshire Regiment did have casualties that day including Lance Corporal F. Wilson.  Several other ranks died on that and on subsequent days:

  • 9 August: Private Hodgson was killed in action, Private Scollay died of wounds.
  • 10 August: Private Hardy died of wounds, Privates Memmott and Owen were killed in action.
  • 12 August: Private Clattenbrook died of wounds.
  • 14 August: Private Acey died of wounds.
  • 15 August, Private Askham was killed in action.
  • 16 August and then Lance Corporal Wilson died of wounds. [17]

Lance Corporal F. Wilson suffered gunshot wounds in both shoulders and right leg.  He was treated by 10 Casualty Clearing Station and 10 Stationary Hospital, St. Omer.  He succumbed to his wounds 16 August 1915. [18] He served a total of 288 days in the army, 15 in France. [19]  14572 Lance Corporal F. Wilson was awarded the 1914-15 Star, the British War and Victory medals. [20]

Burial

Lance Corporal F. Wilson is buried at grave reference II.A.17 Longuenesse (St. Omer) Souvenir Cemetery, France.  The following inscription was placed on his headstone by his mother:

“They miss him most that loved him best”

St. Omer was the General Headquarters of the British Expeditionary Force from October 1914 to March 1916. The town was a considerable hospital centre with the 4th, 10th, 7th Canadian, 9th Canadian and New Zealand Stationary Hospitals, the 7th, 58th (Scottish) and 59th (Northern) General Hospitals, and the 17th, 18th and 1st and 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Stations all stationed there at some time during the war.  The cemetery takes its names from the triangular cemetery of the St. Omer garrison, properly called the Souvenir Cemetery (Cimetiere du Souvenir Francais) which is located next to the War Cemetery.
The Commonwealth section of the cemetery contains 2,874 Commonwealth burials of the First World War (6 unidentified), with special memorials commemorating 23 men of the Chinese Labour Corps whose graves could not be exactly located.   

References:

[1] Commonwealth War Graves Commission Note: the CWGC states that L/C F.L. Wilson served with the 9th battalion but he was later transferred to the 7th as recognised by SDGW.

[2] Richardson family tree

[3] 1901 census

[4] 1911 census

[5] Army Form W.5080

[6] Army Form B.2065 Short Service

[7] Army Form B.178 Medical History

[8] http://www.1914-1918.net/eastyorks

[9] Army Form B.2065 Statement of Service

[10] http://www.1914-1918.net/eastyorks

[11] http://www.1914-1918.net/17div

[12] 7th Bn., the East Yorkshire Regiment War Diary

[13] 7th Bn., the East Yorkshire Regiment War Diary note: not an exact transcript

[14] Army Form B.103 Casualty Form – active service

[15] “The Green Howards in the Great War” Colonel H.C. Wylly

[16] “The Green Howards in the Great War” Colonel H.C. Wylly p.215

[17] Soldiers Died in the Great War

[18] Army Form B.103 Casualty Form – active service and Post Office telegraphs dated 16 August 1915

 [19] Army Form B.2065 Military History Sheet

[20] Medal Roll index card

Photographs

WILSON F .photo

WILSON F
.photo

WILSON R.L. Headstone

WILSON R.L.
Headstone

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